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A Study to

Organisational 2010

Presented to: Dr.
Maha Hafez
A Study to Improve Organisational Citizenship Behaviour


The purpose of this paper is to explain how to improve organisational

citizenship behaviour and how to develop a plan to obtain continual OCB
through formal system and informal environmental setting in work place.
Organisational citizenship behaviours (OCB) describe actions in which
employees are willing to go above and beyond their prescribed role
requirements. Some studies have shown that OCB are positively related to
indicators of individual, unit, and organisational performance. This paper
focuses on clearly defining the relationship between organisational
effectiveness and OCB. This paper will also discuss the implications of the
OCB and try to find out how to improve OCB. Results indicate that positive
work climate, organisation resources, employee’s personality, organisational
culture and so on are all related to OCB. This research is important for any
businesses which want to create competence and organisational
effectiveness. To improve OCB is lowest cost and best way for businesses to
reach organisational effectiveness.


The world is looking forward to high performance organisations, which would

provide high job satisfaction to their employees and would also cherish
excellence and effectiveness. This could be achieved if we could develop
organisational citizenship. Research of organisational citizenship behaviours
has been extensive since its introduction around twenty years ago. The vast
majority of organisational citizenship behaviour research since has focused
on the effects of organisational citizenship behaviour on individual and
organisational performance. There is consensus in the field that
organisational citizenship behaviours are salient behaviours for
organisational enterprises. However, the antecedents of organisational
citizenship behaviours are not well established.

Significance of the study

It was pointed out that organisational citizenship is important in

organisations. Organisational citizenship can be extremely valuable to
organisations and can contribute to performance and competitive
advantage. This research is important for any businesses which want to
create competence and organisational effectiveness. To improve OCB is
lowest cost and best way for businesses to reach organisational

A Study to Improve Organisational Citizenship Behaviour

Defining organisation citizenship behaviour

OCB is a relatively new concept in performance analysis but it represents a

very old human conduct of voluntary action and mutual aid with no request
for pay or formal rewards in return. The concept was first introduced in the
mid 1980s by Dennis Organ and theory in this area has expanded rapidly in
the following years.
According to Organ, the definition of organisational citizenship behaviours
(OCB) is "individual behaviour that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly
recognized by the formal reward system, and that in the aggregate promotes
the effective functioning of the organisation". Organ also noted that defining
OCB as behaviours that are not formally rewarded is equally too broad, as
few "in-role" behaviours actually guarantee a formal reward. Other theorists
proposed the broader construct of "extra-role behaviour" (ERB), defined as
"behaviour which benefits the organisation and/or is intended to benefit the
organisation, which is discretionary and which goes beyond existing role
expectations". Thus organisational citizenship is functional, extra-role, pro-
social organisational behaviours directed at individual, groups and / or an
organisation. These are helping behaviours not formally prescribed by the
organisation and for which there are no direct rewards or punishments. We
exclude those pro-social behaviours that are prescribed by the organisation
as performance requirements and dysfunctional or non-compliant

From the explanations above, Organ suggested that those definitions did not
provide much clarity, noting that one's "job role" is dependent on the
expectations of and communication from the role sender. The "sent role"
could thus be less than or greater than the actual job requirements. This role
theory definition thus places OCB or ERB in the realm of phenomenology,
unobservable and completely subjective in nature. Moreover, Organ
suggested that the "contextual behaviours" approach provided a more
tenable definition of OCB. Contextual behaviours "do not support the
technical core itself so much as they support the broader organisational,
social, and psychological environment in which the technical core must
function". This definition is not clouded by any notions of discretion, rewards,
or intent of the actor. This definition only assumes that the behaviours
should support "the organisational, social, and psychological environment"
rather than the "technical core." There is no specific motive presumed of the
actor, nor are there any other antecedents inferred. What subjectivity that
exists is that surrounding the fuzzy line between what is and is not included
in the technical core. This ambiguity will likely persist.

Importance of OCB

Successful organisations need employees who will do more than their usual
job duties and provide performance that is beyond expectations.

A Study to Improve Organisational Citizenship Behaviour

Organisational citizenship behaviours (OCB) describe actions in which

employees are willing to go above and beyond their prescribed role
requirements. Prior theory suggests and some research supports the belief
that these behaviours are correlated with indicators of organisational

Review of selected literature

This paper examined relationships between OCB and organisational

effectiveness. A few studies have shown that OCB are positively related to
indicators of individual, unit, and organisational performance. Like most
behaviours, OCB are probably multi-determined. That is, there is no one
single cause of OCB. Theoretical frameworks for all other classes of
organisational behaviour, from job performance to turnover to absenteeism,
include multiple sources of causation. It makes sense to apply the same
rationale to OCB. Relaxing the "single cause" parameter will keep the search
for determinants of OCB from becoming narrow in focus and exclusionary in

OCB influence operational efficiency

Organ (1988) identified five categories of OCB: (1) altruism -- the helping of
an individual coworker on a task, (2) courtesy -- alerting others in the
organisation about changes that may affect their work, (3) conscientiousness
-- carrying out one’s duties beyond the minimum requirements, (4)
sportsmanship -- refraining from complaining about trivial matters, and (5)
civic virtue -- participating in the governance of the organisation

Each dimension of OCB offers a different rationale for this relationship.

Altruism or helping coworkers makes the work system more productive
because one worker can utilise his or her slack time to assist another on a
more urgent task. Acts of civic virtue may include offering suggestions for
cost improvement or other resource saving ideas, which may directly
influencing efficiency. To a lesser extent, conscientiousness employees, as
well as those who avoid personal gain or other negative behaviours,
demonstrate compliance with company policies and maintain predictable,
consistent work schedules, increasing the reliability of the service. As
reliability increases, the costs of rework are reduced, making the unit more

Job satisfaction

The first search was conducted on the antecedents of Organisational

Citizenship Behaviour, finding job satisfaction to be the best predictor. After
17 years of research, job satisfaction is still the leading predictor of OCB. This

A Study to Improve Organisational Citizenship Behaviour

is problematic because, descriptively, job satisfaction is in and of itself a

challenging outcome sought by organisational managers. The resulting
implications are restricted to suffice that OCB is likely when workers are
satisfied. There are just as many questions regarding the antecedents of job
satisfaction as there are questions about the antecedents of organisational
citizenship behaviours. But later, it was found out that job satisfaction is not
only one reason for the accurate prediction of OCB.


Motivation is another observation for understating OCB. Three motive

paradigms are often researched. Viewing OCB from these three motive
paradigms, one can more easily account for the various approaches taken in
prior OCB research. The altruistic path is covered quite well with the
affiliation motive and part of the achievement motive, but the darker side is
more clearly understood from the power motive. It is easy to see why OCB
may correlate with ratings of performance and why. This motive-based view
also helps make sense of the disparate findings of research seeking
personality correlates of OCB. A wide variety of personality traits have been
examined in research but results have been disappointing, as the only
consistent correlation emerging is between the "big five" trait of
conscientiousness and the OCB dimension of the same name. By viewing
OCB as caused by multiple motives, one can see that different personality
traits could predict OCB depending on the citizen's motive. It is possible,
however, that there are indirect outcomes of OCB that are related to the
employees' motives. For example, if OCB are exhibited for power motives,
supervisors may reinforce such behaviours with extrinsic rewards,
promotions, or more visible assignments. Supervisors may be oblivious to
such motives, seeing only the observable behaviours. Coworkers, on the
other hand, may see the behaviours from a different, more political
viewpoint. As the power-oriented citizen gains support for such behaviours
from above, other employees can become discouraged and disengaged, not
wanting to "play politics" to get ahead. The resulting outcome may be a
culture of distrust, gossip, complaints, or subtle conflict, eroding cohesion
and team building in the unit. Finally, the affiliation-oriented citizen may
perform OCB to such a degree that the employee-employer relationship
becomes dysfunctional. Similar to the concept of co-dependence in personal
relationships, the dysfunctional relationship may cause more harm than good
for the work environment.


Organisations want and need employees who will do those things that aren’t
in any job description. And the evidence indicates that those organisations
that have such employees outperform those that don’t. As a result, some

A Study to Improve Organisational Citizenship Behaviour

human subject studies are concerned with organisational citizenship

behaviour as a dependent variable.

OCBs have often been conceptualised as inherently a socially desirable class

of behaviours. It has been the purpose of this paper to strip away any biases
and attributions for social desirability and to examine the behaviours in their
strictly observable form. In doing so, a variety of motives can be examined
as potential reasons why employees might exhibit OCB. Achievement,
affiliation, and power are not new ideas, but the application of these motives
to the study of OCB does provide a new lens through which to view OCB.
Much research is still needed to validate the ideas expressed in this paper.
As defined by theorists, OCB reflects a “good soldier syndrome” which is so
necessary for the prosperity and good functioning of every organisation. It
means doing a better job, making an effort above and beyond formal
requirements, and filling the gap between procedures and regulations on the
one hand, and dynamic reality on the other. OCB is usually perceived as
exerting exceptionally good behaviours for the sake of the organisation and
informally supporting its members. To date, and as far as we could find, no
study has investigated the meaning and implications of OCB behaviours in
the third sector. Obviously, such behaviours are important to private
organisations since they affect their competitiveness and profitability must
be committed to increasing OCB among their paid employees. Thus, OCB
represent a powerful element of free-will conduct, most relevant in third-
sector organisations, which highlight values of voluntary personal actions
especially among paid employees. Successful organisations need employees
who will do more than their usual job duties and provide performance that is
beyond expectations. In short, in order to reach that goal, fulfill employees’
job satisfaction, understand they motivation and create suitable work
environments are most important thing in management reality.